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haywards heath #1

This Haywards Heath installation has become the stuff of legend in street lighting circles. I first spotted it in the mid-1990s, spied from the train, as we took our yearly trip to Brighton. And after I started started this site, I received several e-mails from other enthusiasts: "Did you know there's some old fluorescent lanterns in Haywards Heath?"

They've survived this long because they're on private land. It was once public, the site of the town's bus station, hence the municipal feel of the site and these old street lights.

During the 1950s, fluorescent was all the rage for residential areas, shopping areas and transport interchanges. These lights, a combination of minimalist Concrete Utilities meets sheer bulk of GEC Two-Eighty Fluorescent (Z8281 with two 80W 5-foot tubes), was very popular for High Streets in Surrey, and it's not inconceivable that Sussex followed suit. (I recall installations just like this lighting Carshalton High Street and Rosehill - both removed in the 1990s).

This is the last fluorescent installation of its type that we know about. Negotiations have been on-and-off for years, and the site is due for redevelopment. It's hoped that these huge lanterns could be saved and given good homes.